Amid Latest Tiger Woods Reports, Neglected Justin Thomas Throws Biting Remarks: ‘Not as Important’

It’s been a busy few weeks for Tiger Woods and his colleagues at the PGA Tour policy board. But his ‘little brother’ Justin Thomas is as far removed from that hurly-burly as possible. Other than occasionally providing a few biting remarks when faced with pointed questions, the 15-time PGA Tour winner has not turned his ear or eyes toward the merger talks. 

It’s important, of course, but not as important as the PGA Championship. “I feel like I haven’t really been too involved for a while. I just am; I’m just trying to play as good golf as I possibly can and try to win golf tournaments,” Thomas said when asked how much thought he has given to the merger negotiations. Notably, Thomas was taken aback by the June 6 announcement, like most of his peers. His shock was caught on camera. “What the f***?” exclaimed the golfer, as shown in the Netflix docuseries Full Swing.

Thomas, a two-time PGA Championship winner, is eying his third Wanamaker trophy at Valhalla. Interestingly, the second Wanamaker was also the last time Thomas was in the winner’s circle. That was two years ago. Moreover, the 31-year-old has only three top-10s across ten events this season. So Justin Thomas has set clear goals. 

In sharp contrast to his close friend, Tiger Woods, Thomas said, “That stuff’s [merger negotiations] very important, but to me it’s not as important as winning major championships and winning tournaments.” Woods and Thomas are known to be close friends. At the 2021 PNC Championship, the veteran golfer said, “We have become so close that I think Charlie’s like Justin’s little brother he never had, and Justin has become the little brother I never had.” However, on matters of the PGA Tour’s protracted negotiations with PIF, which funds LIV Golf, both stand quite far apart. 

Make no mistake, the 15-time Major champion is desperate to add one more to his tally. A few more, actually. But at the same time, the 48-year-old has taken an active part in merger talks. The veteran golfer hosted the PIF governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, in the Bahamas last month. Most recently, Woods was announced as the only player director to join the Transaction Committee, which will look closely at the day-to-day activities of the negotiations. 

The committee, which also includes Rory McIlroy, will report back to the PGA Tour Policy Board. But the Ulsterman is only in an advisory role because of his myriad connections in the ecosystem and his better proximity to the PIF governor. Unlike Tiger Woods, he doesn’t have any voting power. Woods, emphasizing that he was “personally involved in the process,” said in the pre-tournament press conference, “We’re making steps. May not be giant steps, but we’re making steps.” 

Justin Thomas, however, is far removed from all these, despite whatever notion his comments on Talor Gooch’s asterisk jab or clearly stating that LIV Golfers inclusion might offer. In fact, Thomas swatted aside any possibility of him joining the PGA Tour Policy Board anytime soon. “If I could choose which one, I know which one I would choose, so that’s the thing that I think I need to give attention to.” Which, again, is his on-course job. And Thomas thinks he can turn the tide in his favor at Valhalla. 

Justin Thomas exudes confidence despite a turbulent first few months

The two-time major champion feels he is trending in the right direction. Unbothered by Scottie Scheffler’s consistency or Rory McIlroy’s resurgence, JT feels he has as good a shot at the title as anyone. Simply because, ultimately, it will be decided how good or bad you will play on the weekend. Thomas added in the pre-tournament press conference, “I finally feel like at least this year I know I’ve been playing well enough to win.”

The University of Alabama product accepts he hasn’t done ‘all the right things,’ but hopes it will happen sooner rather than later. Possibly by Sunday. Thomas is relying on stretches of great golf to break through to the top of the leaderboard. Like the RBC Heritage final round when he carded a bogey-free 6-under 65 to move 16 places to T5 on Sunday. Or, the 61 on the moving day at the American Express. The PGA Championship will kick off on Thursday. 

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